Noting that many sceptics thought democracy would not survive in India when India won Independence, President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said that Parliament is the temple of the country's democracy and the highest forum to discuss, debate and decide issues for the well-being of people.
In his address to the nation on the eve of 75th Independence Day, the President referred to the new farm laws and said "the series of agricultural marketing reforms will empower our 'annadata' farmers and help them get a better price for their produce".
The President said that the government has further opened up the defence, health, civil aviation, power and other sectors with an abiding faith in the inherent capacity of the economy.
He said the founding fathers had reposed their faith in the wisdom of the people, and the people of India have made the country a strong democracy.
"We have adopted the system of parliamentary democracy. Therefore, our Parliament is the temple of our democracy which provides us highest forum where we discuss, debate and decide issues for the well-being of our people," he said.
The remarks came days after the conclusion of the monsoon session of parliament, two days ahead of schedule. The opposition forced repeated adjournments during the session over its various demands and the last day saw unprecedented pandemonium in Rajya Sabha for which both the opposition and government have blamed each other.
The President said the country has still a long way to go in realising the dreams of freedom fighters.
He said the road ahead is not easy and the country will have to negotiate many twists and turns but has the benefit of incomparable guidance which comes from diverse sources including venerable seers of millennia ago down to the sages and leaders of more recent times.
The President said it is a matter of great pride for all Indians that Parliament will soon be housed in a new building.
"It will be a fitting statement of our outlook: It will honour our legacy while also walking in step with the contemporary world. It is more than symbolic that the new building will be inaugurated in the year of the 75th anniversary of Independence," he said.
The President said "a new dawn" is rising in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The government has initiated the process of consultation with all stakeholders who have faith in democracy and the rule of law. I urge the people, especially the youth, of Jammu and Kashmir to utilise this opportunity and work on realising their aspirations through democratic institutions," he said.
The President said the government has planned many initiatives to make this special year memorable, and the most exciting of them all may as well be the Gaganyaan mission.
"Pilots of the Indian Air Force have been receiving training abroad. When they fly off into space, India will become only the fourth nation on the planet to carry out a manned space mission. When it comes to the flights of our ambitions, we don't let any limitations define us," he said.
"Yet we keep our feet on the ground. We acknowledge that we still have a long way to go in realising the dreams of those who won the freedom for us. We must strive for more equality in an unequal world, more justice in unjust circumstances. Justice has come to encompass a larger range of connotations, including economic and environmental justice. The road ahead is not easy. In the spirit of 'unity in diversity', we as a nation are following the right course," he added.
The President said climate change has become a reality of life, with seas rising, glaciers melting and temperatures soaring.
"India is proud of not only adhering to the Paris climate agreement but doing more than what the country has committed to protect the climate. However, the world desperately needs a course correction. This is why the world is increasingly turning to the wisdom of India."
Referring to his recent visit to a war memorial in Jammu and Kashmir, the President said it has a motto that means "each and every deed of mine is for the nation".